Author Topic: Tehachapi, BC  (Read 174256 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Scottl

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4017
  • Respect: +444
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2011, 09:35:54 AM »
0
When faced with a complex scene, I once dashed together a quick and dirty 1/4 sized (1:640 scale!) mock up with cheap foam board and hot glue.  It made visualizing the elements very easy and helped me avoid some big mistakes.  It only took a few hours and required scrap material.  If anyone is interested, I can post a few photos...

I would be tempted to do it here, just because the scenes need to come together and be functional.

ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Respect: +286
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2011, 12:19:56 PM »
0
I also highly recommend the scale mockup, like maybe 1" to the foot or so.   That will really help show things like access, overhang, grades, scenery, and so on.

In the latest drawings, I'm still a bit concerned about the overhang above Caliente and Bealeville, since you'll still have about 4"-6" additional space from the outer track on the Loop to the actual upper level fascia.  Also what is the diameter of the access circles?   They appear to be less than 24" which could get rather snug (certainly for a guy like me nowadays :D).  Anyways the mockup should be useful to work these out.

What do you have in mind for the backdrop -- painted, stitched photos, etc?    Also, I presume you're doing modern era, with concrete tie track, is that correct?

I love what you're doing with the upper tunnels.  Scratchbuilding all these portals could be a lot of work, but if you're interested I think I still have the masters I made from my Loop project, and I'd be glad to make you a set of RTV molds.  The main mold is designed to allow casting of a variety of portal sizes/shapes, including the angled ones plus the stair-step types.  I also have molds for the wing walls.  Here are a few pics, let em know what you think  (sorry 'bout the HO one ;) ):




Ed

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5228
  • Respect: +401
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2011, 01:24:07 PM »
0
You guys are certainly zeroing in on my main concerns.  Rather than a scale mock-up, I'm thinking I'll try a full size one(!).  I have two tall wood book cases I can set along the two side walls near the garage door, and I can span the gap with 10' boards clamped to the shelves at various heights. Then I can lay out the printed full size track plan and have at it.  It would also be easy to try pulling the whole schmear away from the door for rear access.  I'm not too worried about the rest of the plan (except maybe tight aisles around the peninsula) so if I can get the left side worked out, I should be good to go.

Ed, the circles, as drawn, are 24" according to XrackCAD.  The era will be modern, with concrete ties.  Not sure yet about backdrop implementation.  I would love to have help with the tunnel portals.  I saw one of your HO portals in person at Tom's last year - very nice!

James, my previous plan was rendered in 3rdPlanIt, which had nice 3d visualization.  I don't have a Windows machine anymore, and I didn't want to futz around with emulation, so just 2d renders now.

Stand by for some crude fun.  ;)

-gfh


« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 01:26:08 PM by GaryHinshaw »

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5228
  • Respect: +401
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2011, 09:05:16 PM »
0
Ok, I made a partial mock-up using some of the benchwork panels I moved from MD and a full-size printout of the Loop shelf.  Pardon the crappy, cluttered photos - I'm just trying to convey ideas with them as swiftly as possible, and hopefully they at least achieve that.

First up is an overview taken from the entrance door:



[Cripe, there's still a lot of junk in that room...]  The shelf in this shot is just under 58" high: for reference, the current plan has the track elevation on this shelf starting at 58" on the right and leaving at 65" on the left.  I found it very easy to access underneath the shelf in the space to the left.

Here's a closer view taken from my eye level:



The printed track in the foreground is the Loop itself.  This is roughly the same vantage point as the view from Tunnel 10:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=363596&nseq=2

And here's a bird-eye view:



A 24-car grain train will just cross over itself, while a 40-car train will not look out of place, comparable to a 120-car prototype train in terms of track occupancy.

So what's the verdict? I don't know yet, but I do have a few thoughts:
* I really like the openness of this shelf, and I'm not worried about the depth as long as decent access points are maintained.
* I agree with the concerns about Caliente's placement (the arc of green track in the front left of the 3rd picture).  It's too crowded.
* I don't like having the Bakersfield yard throat smushed into the closed end of the aisle on the first level.  It's too crowded.

So "what's a mother to do?"  My current thinking is to cut back and eliminate either Caliente or Tunnel 2.  The scheme I like most so far is to rotate level 0 (blue) and half of level 1 (green) by 180 degrees into something like this:




The upper shelf would then overlay like this:




This puts the Bakersfield yard throat out in the open and leaves the Edison switching district pretty open.  The Sandcut section (lower level, lower left) would enter a short hidden section under the Loop, which would represent Bena/llmon/Caliente, then it would emerge as the south portal of Tunnel 1 just past the Loop (not shown here) and continue to the previous Tunnel 2 peninsula.  [Alternatively, I could make the peninsula be Caliente, but I think a peninsula works better as a ridge than a valley, and I really like the simple lines of the Tunnel 2 ridge.  I have this picture in mind:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=248824&nseq=0

I think a scene like this down the middle really helps define the setting.]

The revision also allows easy access under both the top & bottom of the Loop shelf.  I think I'll follow up on Marc's idea of pulling the shelf out too, but maybe just a foot for rear access and photography, since the track is otherwise pretty accessible if the 24" circles (shown) remain clear.

What's missing still?  A south (upper) terminal/staging scheme.  Any provision for turning or continuous running. 

Thoughts?

-gfh

Ian MacMillan

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11887
  • Gender: Male
  • Learn to use the god damn search feature!
  • Respect: +37
    • Conrail's Portland Line
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2011, 09:15:21 PM »
0
Nice.  Now go teach Ian Mac how to properly start a useful thread under Layout Engineering Reports.

Suck it....glad to see you banging out a kid hasn't made you soft.
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Respect: +286
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2011, 01:38:16 PM »
0
Hi Gary, I put together a quick RTS, this is still very very rough but hopefully it might serve as some food for thought.  A few points:

 - Color coding is:

     Green - Lower layer - Caliente/Tunnel2/Bealeville (and possibly Ilmon/Edison)
     Blue - Middle layer - Woodford/Walong/Upper Tunnels
     Yellow - Upper Layer - Cable/Tehachapi, or optionally Monolith
     Grey - Hidden track

 - I used the Atlas track, with #10 turnouts and min. radius of 18.75".   To me the Loop as a showcase feature wants to be as large a possible, so I used 20" min radius on the Loop.

 - As drawn, this is about +5 scale miles of mainline.  (I still have to add the stub sidings at Woodford, Bealville, etc.)

 - I thought it might be interesting to 'unstack' Caliente from under the Loop, so I put them on opposite sides.  Also I tried to preserve some of the key scenic features including Tunnel 2 and the upper Tunnels.
 
 - Staging still has to be worked out but has some options.   The area under the Loop seems like the best bet, but there is opportunity to work in some kind of around-the walls shelf in some places.  There is also space for a double-track (bidirectional) helix. A lot depends on whether you want continuous, end-to-end, and/or serial staging, plus how high/low you'll want the staging to be.   With continuous you don't have the tedium of constantly turning around consists, but the time to traverse a helix will need to be considered.  With a double track helix at least it is much less of a choke point.   If staging under the loop is graded, then that could take a few wraps out of a helix.

 - I wasn't sure what you might want as a minimum siding length, but Walong siding is about 13'.  Like the prototype, other sidings are longer.

 - This doesn't have much switching, again like the prototype, but I think that some could be added by putting Monolith where Tehachapi is, and by adding Edison on a shelf under the Upper Tunnels.   One concern is, how many operators do you want?   The 10x20 overall seems pretty snug for more than a few, even without a space-gobbling feature like the Loop.

 - The area in front of the entry door on the right could be built with lift-out bridges for easier entry/egress.

 - The yellow track to the left of the Loop is meant to be hidden behind a profile board of distant mountains.  The sky itself could be painted on the inside of the garage door.




Hope this is useful!   ;)

Ed

ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Respect: +286
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2011, 01:43:18 PM »
0
A few more thoughts:

 - How much space off the wall does the garage door hardware (track, rollers, hinges, etc) eat up out of the 10x20?

 - Does the entry door have any steps/platform?

 - What kind of vertical clearance did you have in mind for the track separation at tunnel 9?  (3.5" seems like a good minimum to me, if doable)

 - Construction-wise, are you thinking of wall shelves plus peninsulas?

 - What kind of power is available?  Hopefully more than one 15A circuit.

 - What is the floor like?   One of those nice epoxy coatings might be worth the investment.


Ed
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 01:50:43 PM by ednadolski »

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5228
  • Respect: +401
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2011, 05:43:13 PM »
0
Wow Ed, thanks for taking the time to share your ideas the way you did!  I will need some time to cogitate on this, but I will happily do so.

For now, here are a some answers to your easy questions:

* I have been thinking about 11' train length so as not to overwhelm the room, but most sidings in my plan are longer than this.  13' is ample.

* I think a crew of 5-6 is about as much as one could manage in this room.  This is a key consideration, since I am increasingly drawn to ops, and want it to be interesting (and comfortable) in that regard.  Hence my desire to include some online switching.
 
A few more thoughts:

- How much space off the wall does the garage door hardware (track, rollers, hinges, etc) eat up out of the 10x20?

The track & roller take about 3-4", but I think I accounted for that in my 20' budget.

 - Does the entry door have any steps/platform?

There are steps up to the door and a small porch outside that the door opens out on.  The door sill is ~1/2" above the garage floor.

 - What kind of vertical clearance did you have in mind for the track separation at tunnel 9?  (3.5" seems like a good minimum to me, if doable)

The as-drawn plan has only 2.7", using an 18" radius for the inner track and a 2.2% grade.  I would like to increase this, as it is a key focal point.  What is the separation in your layout?  Could you point me to a picture - I've lost track of where you store them.

 - Construction-wise, are you thinking of wall shelves plus peninsulas?

Yes, basically.

 - What kind of power is available?  Hopefully more than one 15A circuit.

Presently only 1 15 A circuit.  I will add at least 1 and hopefully 2 more before construction commences.

 - What is the floor like?   One of those nice epoxy coatings might be worth the investment.

Unpainted concrete right now.  Definitely an epoxy paint after most of the dirty work is done.

Ed

Thanks again!
-Gary


Scottl

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4017
  • Respect: +444
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2011, 08:12:36 PM »
0
This is really interesting to follow.  The prototype is amazing so I can see your thinking in terms of designing a big scene for the loop.

Your comment about ops and numbers of operators made be go back to both plans and wonder how that would work.  I'm having a hard time coming up with operations for 5-6, but maybe it is because I have not actually operated!  More seriously though, Ed's plan has less space for operators and I wonder if it would be a trifle tight.  Nothing anyone needs to respond to, but the process of the design is very interesting.

Cheers

3DTrains

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 316
  • Respect: +6
    • 3DTrains
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2011, 09:09:32 PM »
0


Hi Gary,

Your updated plan is interesting, but it looks as though Bakersfield and Edison are is reversed. Bena/Ilmon should come in from the top-left curve, which would then place Bakersfield at the bottom edge and Edison at the top edge.

Also, it looks like you might have enough space for a 2.5% climb from Bealsville (bottom of plan) to the possibility of adding Woodford at the top before snaking into Walong. This would eliminate all hidden track between Bakersfield and Tehachapi. and a return helix could be inserted at the top-left of the plan to the bottom level, and then coming downward (along the garage door) re-enter Bakersfield at the bottom edge of the plan.

Clear as mud, no? :P

BTW, with this configuration, the Arvin Branch can sneak-off from the right wall toward the top-right corner. :)

Cheers!
Marc

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5228
  • Respect: +401
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2011, 09:48:16 PM »
0
Your comment about ops and numbers of operators made be go back to both plans and wonder how that would work.  I'm having a hard time coming up with operations for 5-6, but maybe it is because I have not actually operated!

Hi Scott. This is a key point.  My picture is that there would be ~4 trains out on the line at any time in the form of 1-2 locals (Edison and/or Monolith) and 2-3 through trains.  That would be 4 operators plus a yardmaster to handle power in Bakersfield and (probably) a dispatcher.  That makes 5-6.  I'm guessing that it will take at least half an hour of wall-clock time (maybe more) to get a train over the line, with meets and congestion. Over the course of a session, a typical operator could then handle 2-3 trains (through and/or local).  There is certainly staging room for more through trains if things work well, but that's too hard for me to forecast yet...  With this in mind, the thing I like about the last revision is that the 'static' operators (the switchers) are fairly well separated in 'the pit' which should leave room for the mainline operators to roam the aisles.

I'd love to have the ops-savvy folks weigh in on this picture.

-Gary

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5228
  • Respect: +401
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2011, 10:09:41 PM »
0
Also, it looks like you might have enough space for a 2.5% climb from Bealsville (bottom of plan) to the possibility of adding Woodford at the top before snaking into Walong. This would eliminate all hidden track between Bakersfield and Tehachapi. and a return helix could be inserted at the top-left of the plan to the bottom level, and then coming downward (along the garage door) re-enter Bakersfield at the bottom edge of the plan.

Clear as mud, no? :P

Hi Marc.  I think I need a picture!  I'm having trouble following the proposal, but I wish I could.  Is there any way you could sketch it over an image of my plan (or from scratch)? 

By the way, I omitted labels from my last revision, so I've added those now.  I'm not sure if this clarifies anything, but I do believe that the line proceeds clockwise in correct geographical order:



It's really fun to ponder all the possibilities.   Back to Ed's drawing now.  :D

-Gary

P.S. I'd love to include the Arvin branch.  There's a sweet little tank farm on that line.




ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Respect: +286
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2011, 01:57:47 AM »
0
Hi Gary, glad you liked the sketch.   I've updated it with a few more details below, these include:

 - Added some labels and features like bridges and grade crossings.
 - Added stub sidings and adjusted some of the track spacings to try to reflect the prototype.
 - Included a simple example helix, configured for continuous running, with serial staging of several trains in each direction.

RTS is not the greatest, so it's a little hard to represent multi-level layouts.   In particular the area with three overlapping levels looks the most squashed/busy, but the individual levels themselves are less complex than the drawing makes them look.

I haven't figures the grades precisely, but as drawn the overall run from lowest to highest is approx. 176 feet.   At an average grade of 2%, that would give a total climb of 42 inches.  That seems like too much to me, but the grade can probably be reduced to an average of say 1.5% to get a max height delta of about 31".  Reducing the grade like that would probably also improve overall operating reliability.

The one area where a higher grade is needed is on the Loop itself, in order to get the clearance over Tunnel 9.   With the Loop sized as drawn in this sketch, it will want about 2.7% to get a vertical rise of about 3.5", which is about what I had built on my Loop.   It took me a combination of 2% and 3% sections to achieve that; I found that anything less was uncomfortably close to that "toy train set figure-8" effect.  The Loop is just one of those things that seems to want all the space it can get and them some.  I have to confess that, while I built my Loop to 19" radius, if I were going to do something like that again, I'd definitely go 24" (more if at all possible) even if I had to trade off from other areas.  It's kinda like buying shoes that you really like but 1-2 sizes too small, and I've found that running modern equipment like autoracks, centerbeams, and stackers tends to accentuate that.  Like anything else, it's a matter of figuring out the right tradeoffs.

Ed




ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Respect: +286
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2011, 10:24:16 AM »
0
Quote
- What kind of vertical clearance did you have in mind for the track separation at tunnel 9?  (3.5" seems like a good minimum to me, if doable)

The as-drawn plan has only 2.7", using an 18" radius for the inner track and a 2.2% grade.  I would like to increase this, as it is a key focal point.  What is the separation in your layout?  Could you point me to a picture - I've lost track of where you store them.

Gary,  I found a few images.   This was a pretty tricky compromise area for me, and to be honest I was never satisfied with it, esp. since as you say it is a key focal point.   In fact, it is probably the primary/key focal point for any layout featuring the Loop.

The Tunnel 9 portal itself measures a bit over 2.5".   I was able to build to get a 3.5" clearance, but that required both a larger radius and a steeper grade than what you mention above.   That "train set figure 8" effect is actually more apparent in-person, since the camera lens tends to foreshorten the perspective.  And as you can see, compared to the proto pix there is still a rather dramatic difference in the effect, even allowing for the unavoidable scale model compromises.

I think you'll definitely want to build a full-size mockup for yourself and see how it looks to you.  My experience tho that even a mockup is limited in how much it can tell you about how it will look to you longer-term.  So my best advice is, the larger you can make it, the happier you'll be in the long run.  Since my layout is barely more than a diorama, I don't feel that I'm all that 'stuck' with it, but OTOH I've also found it somewhat discouraging whenever I thought about trying to expand it into a bigger layout. [1]

HTH,
Ed

[1] FWIW, the steep grade/sharp curve issue is also magnified by the truck-mounted coupler issue, and I've felt rather daunted by the notion of having to body-mount couplers on several hundred pieces of rolling stock (and then there is also that whole pogo thing too  :( )



« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 10:28:14 AM by ednadolski »

Scottl

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4017
  • Respect: +444
Re: Tehachapi, BC
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2011, 10:37:03 AM »
0
One thing that captures my eye in those images is how important the topography is in creating the prototype scene.  The upper part of the loop is built up on a fill while the tunnel is cut into rock, and there is quite a bit of irregularity that separates the two.  The two roads between the two also add an element of separation.  Ed's version is fantastic, and captures most of those elements, but it might be that getting the "right" feel requires more than just the track design.  I find this is a general issue on layouts, as we have such limited space to define a scene, and we build the scenery around the track, not the other way around as the railroads do.